SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol) is a suitable alternative to standard protocols in areas where VPNs are restricted because it can bypass most firewalls. SSTP is quite similar to OpenVPN but, unlike OpenVPN, it is owned by Microsoft, which means it is not available for independent auditing. Microsoft’s history of cooperating with the NSA does not inspire confidence in this standard.
Taking an unusual approach to pricing, ProtonVPN has a low-speed, free service, as well as a trio of premium options. The Basic package is $5/month; the Plus package $10/month, and adds dedicated servers, added security, and Tor servers to the mix. Finally, the Visionary package costs $30 monthly, features the additional servers mentioned, and adds ProtonMail.
In the upload tests, Hide.me was in the with the bulk of the pack, reducing upload speeds by 5.6 percent. IPVanish had the best results for these tests, reducing upload speeds by only 2.9 percent. The international upload tests are all clustered around the same place, and Hide.me's 98.4 percent reduction in upload speeds is quite normal. The best score goes to Private Internet Access, which reduced upload speeds by 97.3 percent.
However, this ability to virtually hop around the globe is most widely used to watch streaming video services from other regions or, while you’re travelling, to avoid missing your favourite TV programmes from home. This is frowned upon by international media rights holders, and streaming services such as Netflix have undertaken increasingly effective efforts to block proxy and VPN services. While every service worked with US-only YouTube content, only a handful enabled us to view US Netflix or UK iPlayer content from overseas.
When you browse the web while connected to a VPN, your computer contacts the website through the encrypted VPN connection. The VPN forwards the request for you and forwards the response from the website back through the secure connection. If you’re using a USA-based VPN to access Netflix, Netflix will see your connection as coming from within the USA.
A VPN can be described as an encrypted tunnel that shuttles your internet activity between your PC or phone and a host server. While the internet is a public space, a VPN works by extending an invisibility cloak across the user's activity and allows people to send and receive data in a mostly-anonymous manner. In the simplest terms, a VPN makes it hard for someone to track your activity.
Hide.me VPN is simple to use and gives you freedom to use the internet however you like, wherever you like. You can get set up in just a few minutes and have access to a number of helpful user guides if you do need any extra help. Choose a server location anywhere in the world to bypass regional content blocks and find the fastest server speeds to experience the internet at its full potential.
Finally, you may want a VPN to spoof your location to download content you shouldn’t have access to, but this too has limits. A VPN used to be the go-to solution to watch U.S. Netflix overseas. That changed in 2016 when Netflix opened up to almost every country on Earth. Since then, the company has invested a lot in detecting and blocking VPN users. Even people using a VPN inside their own country will be blocked by Netflix if detected.

Torrenting has become a hot topic recently, as major production houses and record labels began to notice a significant drop in their profits. Although the practice has occurred for years, it wasn’t until it affected producer’s income that firms decided to take offense. Today, all over the world, torrenters are facing arrests, fines and legal warning for downloading a few songs, the latest season of a TV show, a movie or two, or even a book. The fuss made by the big media businesses has even encouraged certain governments to tighten laws around P2P file-sharing.


I had to know why Goose VPN was so named. My first order of business was to reach out to the company's co-founder and ask. Geese, I was told, make excellent guard animals. There are records of guard geese giving the alarm in ancient Rome when the Gauls attacked. Geese have been used to guard a US Air Defense Command base in Germany and a brewery in Scotland.

We contacted each of our finalists with simple questions about its service and troubleshooting. Most VPN companies provide technical support through online ticketing systems, meaning you'll need to wait for a response. This means that self-help support sites are even more important, because waiting for a reply while your connection is down can be frustrating. Response times to our support inquiries ranged from 20 minutes to a day.


As part of our research, we also make sure to find out where the company is based and under what legal framework it operates. Some countries don't have data-retention laws, making it easier to keep a promise of "We don't keep any logs." It's also useful to know under what circumstances a VPN company will hand over information to law enforcement and what information it would have to provide if that should happen.
I honestly don't understand why some people are so salty about this VPN. It seems to me that there's no in-between: either hate it or love it. My personal experience has been great thus far. It performs really well. I read many reviewers talk about problems accessing Netflix, I gotta admit I've never had this problem since never traveled to a country where it's banned and I live in western Europe. I don't quite like their history of "revealing clients" as talked in an article, but the law is the law; what's a company to do? I have never had to contact their customer service, but what I read is split around 50-50. Again, it seems there's no in between when it comes to HMA.
Unlike other VPN providers, IPVanish is a tier-1 VPN service, meaning they own and run their own network. This gives them a speed advantage over the competition. Moreover, because there are not any third-parties involved and all your data go through their servers is totally encrypted, you will be completely anonymous online and even your ISP can’t monitor your activities. More importantly, IPvanish is a torrent-friendly provider as they do allow torrent traffic on their servers and keep no logs of your activities.
UPDATE: It took a *week and a half* for PureVPN to finally give me my money back. Every day I kept telling them I didn't want to try to fix whatever was wrong and why it wasn't working on my system, but every day they would e-mail me and tell me they're looking into getting me a refund but I should let them try to fix the problem first. *Every* day for a week and a half this went on. The same thing from them over and over and over!
We have a pretty comprehensive guide to BitTorrent, where we talk about P2P traffic, downloading files, selecting torrent repositories, and everything else in between. This will let you learn the basics, which is when you can read our articles on how to stay legal when torrenting as well as how to spot fake torrents. And we also shouldn’t forget our article on the best torrent search engines that will let you browse millions of files with ease.

Most services provide perfectly adequate internet speed when in use, and can even handle streaming HD video. However, 4K video and other data-intensive tasks like gaming over a VPN are another story. Some VPN services, such as NordVPN, have started to roll out specialty servers for high-bandwidth activities. And nearly every service we have tested includes a tool to connect you with the fastest available network. Of course, you can always limit your VPN use to when you're not on a trusted network.
Obfuscation – Obfuscation is a key feature if you are using a VPN in China, schools, work networks, or anywhere that VPNs may be blocked. However, if you are not in a restricted network situation, obfuscation is generally not necessary and may affect performance. (See the best VPN for China guide for a great selection of VPNs with built-in obfuscation features.)
Secondly, a VPN prevents other users downloading and/or uploading the same files as you from seeing your IP address. BitTorrent is a P2P, or peer-to-peer, protocol. That means everyone who uses the same torrent file is connected in what’s known as a “swarm”. Each device connected to the swarm can see all of the other IP addresses of all the other devices in the swarm. Many BitTorrent clients even allow you to view a list of other devices you’re connected to when leeching or seeding files on the network.
Before you decide which best home VPN network client you want to download and install on your device, take some time to ask yourself a few questions, the most important of them being “what exactly do you need the VPN for?” For example, do you want a VPN for your Windows computer? Regardless of the platform or firmware that your devices operate on, certain aspects of a VPN are critical and should be considered before making the purchase. Regardless of why you need a VPN, unlimited access to all the Internet has to offer is of top importance when making your decision. With a VPN like Express VPN or NordVPN, you will be able to surf securely and privately. There are a number of features you might want from a VPN - unlimited number of devices, fast surfing speeds, Android and iOS apps, major VPN protocols. All are important in choosing the right VPN for you. Check out our guide to choosing the right unlimited VPN for your needs to help you decide which of the best VPNs in 2018 is right for you. 
In the past, some VPN services would offer different pricing tiers, each of which offered a different set of features. One way to separate these pricing tiers was to limit the bandwidth (how much data you can transfer). With premium services, this practice is now almost unheard of, and all of the services we have listed do not limit their users' bandwidth. Bandwidth limits live on, however, in free VPN services.

Our VPN-issued IP address was never blacklisted by websites like those of Yelp and Target, but we were unable to access Netflix and BBC iPlayer while connected to TorGuard. No VPN offers a reliable way to access these streaming services, though: All of the VPNs we tried were blocked by Netflix, and of the four that could access BBC content on the first day, two were blocked the next.
We handpick servers that live up to our high standards of security and privacy. They're access controlled, and we are the only ones that operate them — no one else. They do not store IP addresses, nor do they store logs. Each server supports all popular protocols, including: PPTP, L2TP, IPsec (IKEv1 and IKEv2), OpenVPN, SoftEther, SSTP and SOCKS. With the very best server locations and low ping times, the internet is yours for the taking — wherever you might be.

“Hide.me is a well-known name in the VPN industry, known for speed, security, and transparency. They do not keep logs, which makes their VPN very reliable. Also, with apps for almost all major platforms, they are a favorite among millions of users. Hide.me uses a wide range of protocols: IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP, IPsec, OpenVPN, Softether, SOCKS, and SSTP.” Mar 20, 2017 vpnMentor.com

You can use HMA for torrents, but only on selected servers. As a result they are not the fastest VPN service if you want to use it primarily for torrenting. That said, torrenting is allowed, and you can ensure that you download with complete security and anonymity. Don’t let AVG’s HideMyAss VPN, with its trendy and colorful flat design, fool you. With over 880 VPN servers in over 190 countries, the service is anything but flat, allowing you to hide your e-tracks speedily and consistently, all


The app includes a few settings, but nothing too in-depth. You can, however, configure the app to activate automatically whenever you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network—a feature I appreciate. There certainly wasn't the kind of advanced features found in other services, which is in keeping with the app's focus on simplicity but out of step with its price tag.
Hotspot Shield VPN works in most countries, but that doesn’t mean it’s always legal to use a VPN in a specific country. If you have any doubts about the legality of using a VPN in a certain country, always consult a qualified lawyer because laws can change quickly. If you’re still unsure, then it’s best to play it safe and abide by the most conservative guidelines of a country.

If you're of the iPhone persuasion, there are a few other caveats to consider for a mobile VPN. Some iPhone VPN apps don't use OpenVPN, even if the VPN service that made the app supports the protocol. That's because Apple requires additional vetting if a company wants to include OpenVPN with its app. VPN app developers have slowly started jumping through those extra hoops and are bringing support for protocols such as OpenVPN to iOS.


A company representative told me that a full 225 of the 286 server locations offered by Hide My Ass are virtual servers. Only 61 of the server locations are hardware, and 450 of Hide My Ass's 876 servers are virtual. That's far beyond other services. NordVPN, Private Internet Access, TunnelBear, IPVanish, and TorGuard only use physical infrastructure for their server locations.
So in other words.... they keep logs. If they're tracking server access, they could be tracking IP's, connection times, bandwidth utilization, etc. And a log is subpoena-able in most jurisdictions. If that matters to you and you want a zero-log provider, VPN Unlimited is not the right choice for you. If you simply don't care (eg Harry), then VPN Unlimited would be just fine.
When we took at look at your five favorite VPN service providers, we noticed a few things. First, being the “best” is big business for VPN providers, and they’ll fight dirty to be one of them. Second, there are so many VPN providers that it’s difficult to choose a really good one. VPNs are not all created equally, and in this post, we’re going to look at what a VPN is, why you want one, and how to pick the best one for you. Let’s get started.
Yet Mullvad is worth a look because it's extremely private. It asks nothing about you when you sign up. Instead, it assigns you a random number that will be your combined username and password. You don't have to provide an email address, and you can pay by mailing cash to the company's headquarters in Sweden. (Mullvad also takes credit cards, PayPal, bitcoin and wire transfers, and offers 30-day money-back guarantees for those.) Unexpectedly, it was pretty versatile at streaming Netflix from overseas — it didn't always get through, but in no country we tried was it always blocked.
You'd be a fool to go with this company. They're based in China and China has already been found to be putting backdoors in routers made there etc. If PureVPN had been any less ethical than their pathetic show of it they have now, they could have kept my money and I would have had nothing I could have done about it. Can't go over to China and kick some idiots butt, unfortunately, so you'd be out that money.

A good VPN service offers more than 700 servers across the globe, with diverse server locations. A robust VPN service has more than 1,000 servers. The kings of the heap as far as servers go are NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and TorGuard VPN. NordVPN offers over 4,800 servers, and the other two have over 3,000 servers for subscribers. All three have a good mix of locations to boot.
ExpressVPN has a wide range of client software, a dedicated proxy service for streaming media and its own DNS service. But in our 2017 tests, it dropped many connections and its overall performance was in the middle of the pack. It also allows only three devices to be connected simultaneously per account, and it's one of the most expensive services we evaluated.
Hide.me makes all the right promises in its privacy policy. Hide.me does not record your website visits, and it doesn’t store connection logs and timestamps that could match your VPN IP address in a given session with your real IP. The only thing Hide.me does track is bandwidth usage on a monthly basis, which is used for billing and network maintenance.

Finding the best free VPN is an exercise in balancing those restrictions. TunnelBear, for example, lets you use any server on its network but limits you to 500MB-1GB per month. Avira Phantom VPN lets you use as many devices as you like and any server you like, but also restricts you to 500MB per month. AnchorFree Hotspot Shield also places no limits on the number of devices, but restricts you to 500MB per day and only US-based servers. Kaspersky Secure Connection also doesn't limit your devices but doesn't let you choose a VPN server—the app does it automatically.
Multi-hop cascades + NeuroRouting – Perfect Privacy’s apps give you the ability to create multi-hop VPN cascades across up to four different servers in the network. This protects you against the possibility of a rogue data center logging traffic, targeted monitoring, and other threat scenarios. Additionally, the NeuroRouting feature takes this concept further by dynamically routing all traffic through multiple hops in the server network, corresponding to the location of the site you’re visiting. (No other VPN offers this.)
Disclaimer: Top10VPN is not a VPN service and does not endorse the use of VPNs for unlawful means. Users should ensure they adhere to all applicable laws and terms of service when using a VPN. We have no control over third-party websites and your use of them may be governed by their terms and conditions. We are an advertising-supported comparison and review site and may be compensated for featuring certain providers. We strive to keep the information on our Website up-to-date and accurate, but we do not guarantee that this will always be the case.
From a broader perspective, there are several factors that demand the use of a solid VPN while torrenting. First of all, you do not want your privacy to be compromised during torrenting. Specifics of your personal information, your IP address, your location, and even the browser you are using should stay with you only. Then, there is the question of speeds. Depending on the nature of the VPN you are using, you could feel like there is a rise or drop in the speed of downloads and uploads (learn more about this in our pros and cons to VPNs).
Every service we tested accepts payment via credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin. That’s plenty of options for most people, and you can always use a prepaid debit card if you don’t want your billing information tied to your VPN account. IVPN and OVPN are the only ones to accept cash payment through the mail, if you really don’t want to make a payment online. Private Internet Access and TorGuard accept gift cards from other companies—IVPN doesn’t, but that option isn’t worth the additional hassle for many people when other secure, private methods are available.
Music streaming is one of the most common ways people consume music. The number of great streaming apps has grown in recent years, with popular options like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Many of the aforementioned music applications are restricted in countries outside of the United States and Europe. Using an unlimited VPN is a great option to use to listen to your favorite music streaming app in the allowed geographic region and if you are looking for a VPN download for this purpose, you have landed at the right website. 

The app includes a few settings, but nothing too in-depth. You can, however, configure the app to activate automatically whenever you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network—a feature I appreciate. There certainly wasn't the kind of advanced features found in other services, which is in keeping with the app's focus on simplicity but out of step with its price tag.

CyberGhost gives Mullvad some stiff competition in the speed department, especially for locations in North America and Europe. It does a good job protecting user anonymity, too—requiring no identifying information and using a third-party service for payment processing—albeit not to the same degree as Mullvad. Add to that CyberGhost’s unique, easy-to-use interface, good price, and streaming unblocking (although not for Netflix), and this VPN is a solid choice. (See our full review of CyberGhost.)
When you connect your computer (or another device, such as a smartphone or tablet) to a VPN, the computer acts as if it’s on the same local network as the VPN. All your network traffic is sent over a secure connection to the VPN. Because your computer behaves as if it’s on the network, this allows you to securely access local network resources even when you’re on the other side of the world. You’ll also be able to use the Internet as if you were present at the VPN’s location, which has some benefits if you’re using pubic Wi-Fi or want to access geo-blocked websites.
Given the aggressive pricing and marketing of other services that don’t measure up to our picks, IVPN’s most obvious downside may look like its price: At the time of this writing, the regular price for an annual IVPN subscription is $100 (about $8 per month). Promotions regularly bringing that down to $70 to $80 per year, but some services have regular pricing of half that. But you shouldn’t pay for a VPN you can’t trust, or one so slow or confusing that you avoid using it at all. We think IVPN’s combination of trust, security, and performance is worth the price. But if it’s too expensive for your needs, consider our budget pick instead.
Some countries don't have the same protections for freedom of press, speech, and expression that most democratic countries have. In fact, some regimes resort to oppressive measures to monitor and take action against those they see as threats to the government. People who dare to stand up have to take extra precautions to protect their communications. Journalists and researchers also send messages containing data that some people may want to try very hard to intercept.

PIA is based in the US, so is not a provider for the more NSA-phobic out there. However, it keeps no logs, which is a claim that it has been tested in a court of law! And although optional, its security can be first rate. Its desktop software supports multiple security options, a VPN kill switch, DNS leak protection, and port forwarding. Up to 5 simultaneous connections are permitted and the VPN boasts great connection speeds. P2P is permitted on all servers located across 29 countries.
Windscribe  offers unlimited device connections. Yes you heard that right! The reason is that unlike the others above on this list, it doesn't offer unlimited data. So you're limited by bandwidth and data, not by devices. You get 10GB every month, and there's a free plan also but that only allows one device. There are apps for Windows, Mac and iOS but not Android, and the service also offers browser add-ons with useful features such as ad-blocking. Short range performance (to US sites) is good, but we noticed lag with transatlantic connections. However, if you’re looking to protect the data from a whole bunch of devices - an office, perhaps, or just a smart home - the support for unlimited connections is a real stand-out feature.
“Hide.me has proven to be a very good option in the VPN market. During our review we've been impressed by its speed and many functionalities. Hide.me is a VPN provider highly concerned about its customers' privacy and security. The no-logs policy is a big plus for this VPN. Even though performances are great and functionalities are many, we still find the price to be high compared to the competition.” Dec 28, 2017 anonymster.com
Media companies are increasingly monitoring torrent traffic and collecting IP addresses from torrent swarms. Depending on where you live, you may receive copyright violation notices from your internet provider, or perhaps from a law firm that is demanding immediate payment for damages – oftentimes thousands of dollars – on behalf of the copyright holder.
Unless you use a VPN when you torrent, your IP address is exposed to your Internet Service Provider and to every other user taking part in the data transfer. It’s not easy to find the right VPN for torrenting as you need one that offers blazing fast uploads along with robust privacy features and preferably P2P-optimized servers. We make the process as painless as possible with our extensive, impartial VPN reviews – we do the work so you don’t have to.
Hide.me VPN for Windows is a virtual private network (VPN) utility that helps prevent others seeing your internet traffic. With this service, you can browse and download, evading restrictions on content and protecting the privacy of your data. With high download speeds and a variety of different service plans, hide.me is a leading name in the world of VPN services.
Hotspot Shield VPN does not log your browsing activity. Almost all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) track your browsing history. So when you use a VPN like Hotspot Shield, there is no record of the websites you have visited and which apps you use. This prevents hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities in these websites/apps to get to your personal information.
VPN services are entirely legal and legitimate in most countries. It's completely legal to mask your IP address and encrypt your internet traffic. There is nothing about using a VPN that's illegal and VPN services themselves do not and cannot do anything illegal. The only thing that's illegal is if you were to break the law while using a VPN - for instance if you were to infringe on someone's copyright. But that's the action of infringement that's illegal, not the use of the VPN.
When we ran our recent Hive Five on VPN service providers, we heard from VPN providers begging to be included, angry CEOs who claimed their company was maliciously left out, and others accusing some of the contenders of illegal or unethical behavior. We took at look at the poll and the claims, and while there’s no definitive proof the poll was gamed, we decided to come up with our own top five, based on our own research rather than reader feedback, that are great whether you’re the privacy advocate, the student, or the downloader.
HotSpot Shield and IPVanish did not work with my Godaddy/Outlook SMTP email. I ended up with PureVPN which I like a lot. Hundreds of servers around the world, no logging, and Hong Kong based--all good reasons to choose. Their tech support is also excellent and respond quickly and stay with you to work out any issues. Latest, they do not support newer Netgear router firmware, so they guided me through installing DD-WRT in my new router. Also, my speedtest results are faster using Pure then when not using it...
Despite leaks and disclosures about government data-collection efforts in recent years, it’s hard to determine the exact reach of current operations and how vulnerable encryption technologies like VPNs are to those efforts. Given the more immediate threats to security and privacy from other avenues, none of the experts we interviewed highlighted government data collection as the foremost reason for most people to get a VPN. A VPN could help prevent some types of passive data collection—and a trustworthy VPN certainly can’t hurt—but there’s no guarantee against government tracking.
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